Ooltewah coach Rick Adolph looked around the state Wednesday and saw some surprising losses in some district semifinal matches. What he didn't want was for another coach to look at the Owls' results from their District 5-AAA championship match this morning and see an "L" by their score.
As rough of a process as it was, Adolph was breathing easy around 9 Thursday night.
The Owls claimed their second consecutive district championship with a 4-0 victory over Adolph's former team, Cleveland.
Ooltewah (17-1) will face Coffee County (10-7-2), which lost 3-0 to Cookeville in the 6-AAA final, while the Raiders (9-10-1) will travel to face the Cavaliers (14-4-1).
For 40 minutes, the two clubs evenly were matched. The Owls held a 1-0 lead because their luck was a little better; Jacob Ray hit a shot from the right side that almost looked like a pass, yet sailed over Cleveland keeper Pierson Bunch.
The Raiders squandered an earlier opportunity when Ooltewah keeper Hunter Rozzell missed a ball, but Jesse Jones missed a shot that would have given Cleveland the early lead.
"It wasn't great soccer on either side, but it was evenly bad," Adolph said. "I challenged the guys at the half, telling them that they were here for a reason."
That lead grew to 2-0 early in the second half on a goal by Trey Tucker, then stretched to a three-goal advantage when Felipe' Munoz scored on a rebound.
Leudy Franco finished off the scoring with a goal in the final minute.
Both teams were assessed yellow cards in the physical, scrappy match.
"It was a match between two good teams, so I expected it to be physical," Cleveland coach John Brose said. "They played hard, but I thought we matched them in terms of being physical. It was just one of those nights when things didn't go our way."
Contact Gene Henley at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/genehenleytfp.
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